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Old 12-20-2011, 09:55 PM   #1
newbrewguy11
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Default Getting ready for the first brew...double check my process (long post)

Ok, it's almost time for me to do my first brew. Waiting on a couple last things to be delivered and then it's off to the races.

Here is the process I intend to do. I am looking for 100% precision here as I will go down this list and check off each item as it is done. If you see anything amiss with the ingredients, order, temps, time, process, etc I would love to hear the feedback. Things I am unsure about or have a question about are in red.

This is not a tested process I have never brewed before so anyone who wants to follow this, well don't

This is the recipe kit that I will be brewing:
http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/recipe/20107bef/shoultzmeyer-brewery-extra-imported-stout

1) Fill kettle with 3 gallons of distilled water

2) Put kettle onto burner, get it to 158 degrees, check using thermometer

3) Add "Crisp Crystal Malt 60L", "Crisp Roasted Barley", "Crisp Chocolate Malt" into the included bag and steep for 30 minutes.

4) Remove grains from kettle

5) Turn OFF burner

6) Add half of heated "Briess Pilsen Extra Light Liquid Extract" to the mixture. Stir like crazy.

7) Bring to a rolling boil (will be boiled a total of 60 minutes) -

8) Add "Brewers Gold Pellets" to mixture

9) After 40 minutes (20 minutes remaining), add the remaining heated "Briess Pilsen Extra Light Liquid Extract"

10) At the same time as number 9, place chiller into boiling liquid to sanitize it

** Sanitizing important after this step **

11) At 60 minutes, turn off boil, connect hoses and commence wort chilling by turning on water to IC

12) Chill to 65-70 degrees (thanks BBL) with IC. Use sanitized stainless spoon to agitate the wort and create turbulence around the chiller pipes

13) While that is cooling, take the "SAFALE S-04" and pour it into a cup of lukewarm water (90-100 degrees) for 10 minutes to rehydrate it.

14) Pour cooled water into plastic fermenter bucket (cleaned/sanitized)

15) Mix yeast/water mixture into wort in the bucket

15a) Top up to 5 of distilled and probably boiled gallons. Will use boiled distilled water.

16) Place cover over fermenter bucket, ensure airlock is sealed and filled half with vodka.

17) Ferment ~2.5 weeks, monitor airlock to make sure it's not making a mess. Take hydrometer reading on final few days to ensure that it is not changing. This ensures fermentation is done when they are the same reading give or take.

18) ignore will do all in bucket - Transfer to glass carboy using clean/sanitized autosiphon

19) ignore will do all in bucket - Affix airlock and/or blow off tubing to bowl with sanitized water

20) ignore will do all in bucket - Ferment for another 5-7 days, monitor airlock

--
Bottling

21) Clean bottling bucket, racking cane, siphon, bottle caps, and bottles using oxiclean and jet bottle washer for bottles. Do not use abrasive anything. Just a sponge or brush for glass things.

22) Sanitize the same items in star san solution using proper mixture

23) Hang bottles on bottle tree

24) Leave all other items in star san until ready to use

25) Heat up 1 cup of water

26) Add 5 oz of priming sugar

26) Bring to a boil for approx 5 minutes

27) Allow to cool

28) Add priming sugar mixture to bottling bucket

29) Siphon beer with autosiphon from fermenter to bottling bucket on top of sugar, may lightly stir if not getting a mixing swirl out of autosiphon

30) Place bottling bucket above dishwasher

31) Pull a bottle off of the tree rinse with vinator

32) Cap with sanitized cap (will have 2 people)

33) Store in a 60-70 degrees for 2-4 weeks.

34) Drink



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Old 12-20-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Are you a computer programmer? ; )

JK, looks good.

Edit: Just saw 8. For 8, Google "hot break." As long as your boil is moving enough to rid your pot of the hot break, you should be good to go.

for 15a: You can boil it, but if I was a good brewer I'd buy some distilled water from the store. Of course, I'm lazy so I use tap water. easy peasy.

After 15A: Take this time to shake the hell out of your carboy to get some oxygen in your wort which acts as a nutrient for the yeast.

On 20: you don't have to worry about Hydro readings. It won't change.

For 33: I suggest since this is your first brew, Take a beer at the end of week 1, Label it "week 1" and put it in the fridge, this will end the carbonation process. Do the same for week 2 and 3 or 4.

Then, a week after the last week, try them and compare. You'll learn why you should wait 3 weeks or more before drinking your HB.



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Old 12-20-2011, 10:15 PM   #3
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Looks like better instuctions than what I got in my first kit. A couple of things.


Yes, it's a good idea to boil and cool your top off water.

Also, I would pitch your yeast at a lower temperature than 78F. I would shoot for more like 68-70 (or even a bit lower).

As for transfering to a carboy, that's debatable. You could leave the beer in the primary for 2-3 weeks instead of racking it over. Either way is fine though. Also, you don't have to get super crazy with the hydrometer readings. After a couple of weeks take a reading, then take another one 2-3 days later. If it hasn't changed any then you're done. Taking a million readings will just expose the beer to more chances of infection and oxidation and will prevent more beer from reaching bottles.

Other than that, you're instructions look ok.

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Old 12-20-2011, 10:22 PM   #4
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Thanks guys!

I will either get distilled or boil and cool some water. Perhaps distilled is easiest, one less thing to worry about at least for my first run.

I won't go crazy with the hydro readings. Will just take a couple there!

In terms of fermenting bucket vs carboy, I never did understand the point of changing it over to a different vessel. What is the benefit of a carboy over a bucket, or is there none? If it's all about time, then how come a bucket isn't good enough?

Since you mentioned infection, I am worried about this so I'm trying to have everything planned out as best as possible. Any other words of wisdom appreciated on this front.

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Old 12-20-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbrewguy11 View Post
1) Fill kettle with 3 gallons of tap water

2) Put kettle onto burner, get it to 158 degrees, check using thermometer

3) Add "Crisp Crystal Malt 60L", "Crisp Roasted Barley", "Crisp Chocolate Malt" into the included bag and steep for 30 minutes.

4) Remove grains from kettle

5) Remove kettle from burner

6) Add half of "Briess Pilsen Extra Light Liquid Extract" to the mixture

7) Add "Brewers Gold Pellets" to mixture - no. Wait until the wort starts boiling, then set your timer for 60 minutes and add the hops.

8) Bring to a boil (will be boiled a total of 60 minutes) - how hard a boil? temp range? Boiling is boiling- you want a nice rolling boil, not a simmer, but you don't need it to be harder than simply a rolling boil.

9) After 40 minutes (20 minutes remaining), add the remaining "Briess Pilsen Extra Light Liquid Extract" [B]That may really cool off your wort, plus addding the chiller. You can do it, but I often add the LME at flameout to avoid totally cooling off my boil[./B]

10) At the same time as number 9, place chiller into boiling liquid to sanitize it

** Sanitizing important after this step **

11) At 60 minutes, turn off boil, commence wort chilling by turning on water to IC

12) Chill to 65-70 degrees (thanks BBL) with IC. Use sanitized stainless spoon to agitate the wort and create turbulence around the chiller pipes

13) While that is cooling, take the "SAFALE S-04" and pour it into a cup of lukewarm water (90-100 degrees) for 10 minutes to rehydrate it.

14) Pour cooled water into plastic fermenter bucket (cleaned/sanitized)

15) Mix yeast/water mixture into wort in the bucket

15a) Top up to 5 gallons. Should this be water that has been boiled??- will use distilled water or boiled and cooled water (Thank gregpio and BBL) Use either- just make sure you end up with 60-70 degree wort when added.

16) Place cover over fermenter bucket, ensure airlock is sealed and filled half with water.

17) Ferment 5-7 days, monitor airlock to make sure it's not making a mess. Take hydrometer reading on days 5,6,7 to ensure that it is not changing. This ensures fermentation is done when they are the same reading give or take.

18) Transfer to glass carboy using clean/sanitized autosiphon I'd personally skip this step (along with #19 and #20), and leave it in the fermenter for 14-20 days total, before checking the SG and then bottling after three days of stable readings.

19) Affix airlock and/or blow off tubing to bowl with santized water

20) Ferment for another 5-7 days, monitor airlock. Take hydrometer readings?

--
Bottling

21) Clean bottling bucket, racking cane, siphon, bottle caps, and bottles using oxiclean and jet bottle washer for bottles. Do not use abrasive anything. Just a sponge or brush for glass things.

22) Sanitize the same items in star san solution using proper mixture

23) Hang bottles on bottle tree

24) Leave all other items in star san until ready to use

25) Heat up 1 cup of water

26) Add 5 oz of priming sugar

26) Bring to a boil for approx 5 minutes

27) Allow to cool

28) Add priming sugar mixture to bottling bucket

29) Siphon beer with autosiphon from carboy to bottling bucket on top of sugar, do I need to mix this? You can gently stir, if you're concerned that you don't have a nice "swirl" without aerating as you fill the bottling bucket from the fermenter.

30) Place bottling bucket above dishwasher

31) Pull a bottle off of the tree rinse with vinator Why? Use the vinator to squirt the sanitizer (in the sanitizing step), stick on the bottling tree and then put the vinator away. Star-san is a "no rinse" sanitizer!

32) Cap with sanitized cap (will have 2 people)

33) Store in a 60-70 degrees for 2-4 weeks.

34) Drink
Pretty good synopsis, but I put my corrections in bold. Anything not bolded is just as I'd do it!
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:50 PM   #6
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Put your container of Pilsen Light into a pan of water and slowly heat it while your bigger pot is heating up for steeping. That will make it pour easier. Instead of taking the pot off the burner, turn the burner down and stir like mad while adding the liquid extract if you wish. I've had good luck this way.

Make sure your grains are crushed before you add them to the water for steeping so you can extract all the color and flavor. When you pull the bag out let it drain well.

You want a rolling boil but don't get carried away with it. Boiling is to polymerize the hop oils to give you the bitterness that the beer needs.

You can skip the step 13 and just sprinkle the yeast into the fermenter on top of the wort. It's ok if it lands on top of a bunch of foam and stays there, it will find its way to the rest of the wort.

I top off with tap water but I have a well and the water is good. If you have city water, you need to find out the chemical used to keep it safe. If it is chlorine, you can boil it out but chloramine needs a campden tablet to get rid of it. Otherwise, you can use drinking water you buy at the grocery store to top off.

When your wort is cooled it will have some gunk in the bottom. This gunk is proteins and hops. You can filter it, siphon above it or just do as I do and dump it all into the fermenter. It will all settle out in the yeast cake when the beer is done.

Speaking of done, your beer isn't going to be done on day 5 or day 6. The time it takes to be done is up to the yeast and they don't follow a schedule. It won't hurt your beer to stay in the fermenter longer. Mine stays 3 to 4 weeks or sometimes even more and it makes good beer. I usually wait until I'm ready to bottle to take a hydrometer reading just to make sure it really is done. Your kit will give you an expected FG and after 3 weeks it should be there. Start your ferment cool if you can, low to mid 60's and leave it for a week and then bring it up to room temperature so the yeast are encourged to complete the ferment.

When you are ready to bottle, heat up some water and dissolve the priming sugar in it and dump it into the bottling bucket. You don't need to wait for it to cool. Being boiling hot it will kill a few million yeast cells but your beer will have billions so it won't affect the carbonation at all.

Store your bottles at 70 to 75 degrees after they are filled. You want the yeast to carbonate as quickly as possible, not take a nap. Enjoy!

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:11 PM   #7
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i'm going to make sure you see the fact that tap water can ruin your beer.

1.You need to find out if it has chlorine/chloramine in it (check your water report). If it does you need to at least run it through a charcoal filter.

2.You'll also not just want to fill airlock with water but with a sanitizer mix or vodka.

3. Do everything you can to keep your fermentation temperature around 67-68. Not ambient but actual wort temp.

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Yea, steps 7 and 8 should be reversed. You want to wait until you have a good rolling boil to add your first hops. Overall it looks like you're way ahead of most first timers.

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:22 PM   #9
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Well thought out! Take Yoopers suggestions and you'll have a good first batch! A plan and practice makes waiting easier. Cheers

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwood View Post
i'm going to make sure you see the fact that tap water can ruin your beer.

1.You need to find out if it has chlorine/chloramine in it (check your water report). If it does you need to at least run it through a charcoal filter.

2.You'll also not just want to fill airlock with water but with a sanitizer mix or vodka.

3. Do everything you can to keep your fermentation temperature around 67-68. Not ambient but actual wort temp.
I haven't tested it completely yet but I believe tap water is the reason for some bad tastes in my beers. I will be using RO water from here on out.


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